Giacomo Nizzolo won the Clasica de Almeria in a fantastic sprint finish finale, the first win of the season for the Italian & European Champion and Team Qhubeka ASSOS.
The 183km Clasica de Almeria took place today under a beautiful blue Spanish sky. A strong peloton of 154 riders set off from Pueblo de Vicar on an out, around and back route, finishing in Rocquetas de Mar.
Team Qhubeka ASSOS sent a strong line up to the Spanish UCI 1.Pro race, with Giacomo Nizzolo leading the 7-rider roster that also included Max Walscheid, Victor Campenaerts, Matteo Pelucchi, Carlos Barbero, Emil Vinjebo and Sean Bennett.
With most of the climbing taking place in the opening 100km, followed by a flatter final 80km, the race was expected to end in a bunch sprint. A few early breakaway attempts came to nothing, and it was packed peloton racing into the final 50km all together.
It was a nervy run in to the line and the fight for position resulted in numerous crashes, splitting and whittling down the peloton regularly. After protection from his teammates, Nizzolo made it to the final kilometer well placed but still with a fair bit to do in the technical finish.
The European Champion went around the outside in the final right hand bend and powered away from his challengers with a superior turn of speed. Florian Senechel (Deceuninck-Quickstep) would cross the line 2nd and Martin Laas (Bora-Hansgrohe) rounded out the podium.
Nizzolo’s win is his first of the 2021 cycling season and also the first for Team Qhubeka ASSOS!
I am really happy about today’s victory and the great job the team did today. From the start we tried to control the race but the race was a bit strange, kind of on-and-off a few times, because of the wind. The final was quite tricky but we managed to have a good position for the sprint so I am really happy for the team and we look forward to the next one.Giacomo Nizzolo
I am so excited about winning today in Spain, just our third event of the year. We were on the podium in Besseges and our climbers were beginning to show themselves in Provence, and now our Italian and European Champion, Giacomo Nizzolo goes and wins in the south of Spain, in Almeria.
We had such a good training camp just outside Girona, bringing this team together under one culture of Ubuntu, I am because we are. It was such a cool thing to see, 27 riders of 16 different nationalities pulling together, so to win today was just, wow, an incredible performance and brilliant showing from the team there. Our first win as Team Qhubeka ASSOS is something special.
And we are delighted for Giacomo, to continue his incredible form from last season, we are so happy that he is part of Team Qhubeka ASSOS so the future is looking good.Douglas Ryder – Team Principal